Pet Columns

[closeup of a collie by a couch]

Accidents Happen, Part 1: What to Do If Your Dog Soils the House

Nov 16, 2015 / Behavior / Cats / Dogs

Behavioral causes of house soiling can usually be resolved If your indoor dog is among the one in five that leaves unpleasant surprises for you to find, don’t despair. Your veterinarian can help you determine the cause and a solution for house soiling—urinating, defecating, or both, in inappropriate locations. According to Dr. Kelly Ballantyne, a...

[two dogs wearing harnesses in back seat of car]

Safe, Stress-free Travel with Pets

Jul 7, 2015 / Behavior / General Care / Preventive Health / Cats / Dogs

People are on the go, and increasingly, they are taking their pets along for the ride. While some pets seem born to ride, for others the loud noises and strange motions involved in traveling can be a real problem. Dr. Kelly Ballantyne, a veterinarian at the University of Illinois Chicago Center for Veterinary Medicine with...

Context Is Critical When Treating Anxiety in Dogs

Oct 21, 2013 / Behavior / General Care / Dogs

Behavioral consultants bring light and understanding on how to properly  handle anxiety. What can cause anxious behavior in dogs? Dr. Kelly Ballantyne, a veterinarian at the University of Illinois Chicago Center for Veterinary Medicine and resident of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, says the causes are as varied as are the approaches for reducing that...

Basic Training: Start with the Right Equipment and Attitude

Feb 25, 2013 / Behavior / General Care / Dogs

The bottom line in dog training: “It’s all about the positive reinforcement.” Working with your dog on basic cues such as “sit,” “stay,” “come,” and so on helps your pet behave well in human society. But training is also vital to the health and safety of your pet, allowing you to prevent your pet from...

Cats’ Low-Stress Vet Visits Begin at Home

Sep 3, 2012 / Behavior / General Care / Cats

Dr. Ballantyne offers advice on how to lower stress for your cat. A lot has been said about why to take your cat for regular veterinary visits, but some owners may also need advice on how to get kitty in the carrier, the car, and the clinic without a battle. Dr. Kelly Ballantyne, a veterinarian...